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Infectious complications related to regional anesthesia are rare. Because most of the information is available in case reports and retrospective surveys, it is likely that these complications are underreported. It is hoped that recent surveillance1 and prospective registry projects2 using standardized surveillance definitions and the integration of such in national quality assurance projects (American Society of Regional Anesthesia [ASRA] Acute-POP/AQI)3 will generate more comprehensive data for risk assessment and evaluation of infection control recommendations in the future. Integration of a structured surveillance tool into the electronic medical record and a hospital’s quality management system4 will ease the workload for clinicians and facilitate surveillance compliance (Table 16–1).

Table 16–1.Regional anesthesia surveillance system complication definitions.

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